, 10 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Today the last thread of the Twitter marathon on the occasion of our @PNASNews article "Crop variety management for climate adaptation supported by #citizenscience". What about the farmer perspective? What motivates farmers to do this? doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1…
The idea of the #citizenscience methodology behind our paper is that farmers can actively participate in experimentation. Tricot or triadic comparisons of technologies makes participation feasible for several reasons.
Testing only three varieties requires little land. Many previous formats required that at least some of the farmers would grow all the varieties in a common plot. Due to its size, finding a farmer who could provide land was generally difficult and had to be arranged with time.
Also, other farmers would not all participate in an active way. Michael Misiko has shown the problems of conventional formats of participatory variety selection. See in the graph below how participation drops when the plot needs weeding! doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy…
In large-common-plot formats, farmers only get a snapshot of the varieties. Later at home, they really discover what they have and often discard the seed. In tricot, all farmers grow the varieties on their own land. This ensures farmers observe the varieties from seed to stomach.
The question of what motivates participants is crucial in #citizenscience. We asked farmers what they expected back. Interesting enough, farmers rarely expected money for their participation. Many projects pay farmers to participate. doi.org/10.1371/journa…
More recently, @jeskevandegevel has been exploring farmers' motivation from a design perspective. She says that farmers should fully understand the experiment and data. The picture shows an example of data vizualization in participatory selection gone wrong...
I have been in meetings where tricot results were presented back to farmers. Each farmer receives the results from their farm and they piece together their conclusions by comparing. Their level of engagement was much higher than in the usual variety selection exercises.
The work on tricot has been interesting as it is pulling together work from disparate disciplines including statistics/data science, crop science, and design to focus on a single process. And it is only one step away from farmers´ adoption of new technologies, an important goal.
If you have any questions about this research, I am eager to hear from you! Also, I will try to follow anything tweeted with #agcitsci
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